My Impressions of the iPad

I realize that the iPad came out last month and, in blogging terms, that’s an eternity. However, I didn’t want to be one of those people who posted their review of the iPad after having only spent two hours with the device. I’ve been trying the use the iPad in my every day life for nearly a month now and I think I’ve finally aggregated all of my thoughts and feelings on the device to a point where I can blog about it.

First, the reason why many of you are probably reading this: the eReader experience. The iPad is the single best looking and feeling electronic book reading device I have ever encountered. This includes using PCs to read books, the Kindle (which I finally got to play with last month!), and the Nook. There’s a button on the device that lets you lock the screen orientation so you can read in single-page mode even while lying down on a couch, etc. The screen is positively brilliant and the page-turning experience is great too. The buying experience is seamless and even faster than the Kindle for downloads. I love how full-color book covers show up in a screen that literally looks like a bookshelf. My only complaint about the book reading experience is you need to avoid high-glare situations because unlike e-Ink, you have trouble seeing the iPad screen in high intensity sunlight.

The battery life on this device is insanely good. I have played high-resolution fast-paced driving games for hours, read books, read e-mails, taken notes in meetings, and watched Netflix movies and then forgot to charge the device for two days and still picked it up to find it at 40%. In fact, I’ve never even seen my iPad go below 20% and I am really, really bad about plugging it in at night.

Netflix. If you have an iPad, you absolutely, positively need a Netflix subscription. Being able to kick back and watch episodes of the A-Team on my incredibly bright 10″ screen with the headphones on – priceless.

Evernote. Evernote for the iPad is an incredible piece of software. I have actually started taking the iPad to my meetings at work. It’s roughly the same size and only a pinch heavier than the notebook I normally take to my meetings. I flip the case into “angled typing” mode, open a new note in Evernote and take notes during the meeting. By the time I get back to my desk, Evernote has already synchronized my note via the cloud and it’s sitting on my work desktop and will be available the next time I turn on my home PC or Mac.

Games and Education. I’ve discovered some educational games that I plan on having my daughter play. I picked up a Modern Warfare game that is ridiculous in the level of enjoyment and only has minor touch-related annoyances. I’ve got a racing game for the pad that is SO much fun because the added weight and size of the pad gives me far better accelerometer-based steering accuracy than phone-based driving games.

As I mentioned before, the new interface for reading and composing e-mails is outstanding. The book reading experience is incredible. I’ve actually integrated this device into my daily routine at work as well as at home and, having it by my side has actually caused me to turn on my laptop MUCH less in the last month. In fact, my small laptop has only been turned on twice, both of those times just to get to local files.

If you are considering getting an iPad, don’t listen to people who have only used it once or twice. It felt strange and awkward when I first got it. After two weeks, I was truly loving it. After four weeks, I absolutely, positively cannot live without this device. It is as much a part of my life now as eating and breathing. It is also the invaluable device for capturing writing ideas while on the go – far easier than doing it using the phone or a laptop.

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